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PG&E: Number of scam attempts double compared to last year

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MGN

(KION) Pacific Gas and Electric is warning customers that it has seen double the number of scam attempts in some areas compared to this time last year.

One of the ongoing scams involves phone calls in which someone threatens to shut off power if a payment is not made, according to PG&E.

The utility said it has received reports across its service area over the past few weeks of scammers requesting immediate payment on past-due utility bills. The scams are also becoming more specific, according to PG&E, by including customer names and guesses about dollar amounts owed. The utility said the scammers are also disguising phone numbers that say "PG&E" or "Pacific Gas & Electric.

Other scams the utility has seen include:

  • Telling customers that they are eligible for a federal tax refund related to their utility bill
  • Attempting to sell solar evaluation services
  • Trying to sell a product to get into the customer's home

PG&E suggests the following to avoid becoming the victim of a scam:

  • Anyone who has received a call and given credit card or checking account information should report it to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement. PG&E does not ask for personal information over the phone.
  • Customers concerned about the legitimacy of a call are asked to call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
  • Ask to see identification before letting someone claiming to be a representative into your home. Employees carry identification.
  • If someone claiming to be a PG&E employee has identification and you are still uncomfortable, call customer service at 1-800-743-5000 to verify an appointment or PG&E's presence in the area.
  • Customers with an appointment will get an automated call back within 48 hours before a scheduled visit or a personal call from a representative before the visit.
  • If you feel threatened, contact local law enforcement.
Crime / Money / News / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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